For new parents, attempting to understand the parental leave entitlements can be a little daunting—even when you’re not sleep deprived. In general, here are some of the points that you need to know.
Unpaid Maternity or Paternity Leave
You may be entitled to take up to 12 months’ unpaid leave to care for your child, with an option to take another 12 months after that. There are rules around who is eligible and how leave can be taken, so be sure to check up on all of the fine print: http://www.fairwork.gov.au/leave/maternity-and-parental-leave
Maternity and Paternity Leave – Paid by your employer
If you’re fortunate, your employer will offer paid parental leave as part of the employment contract. (One for the ‘To Do’ List: Check your contract!) The amount of time you choose to take off depends on your personal financial situation and the choices you want to make for your family.
If you’ve not yet negotiated parental leave as part of your contract, here are some things you may like to consider:
- How long would you like to take for parental leave?
- Will your partner be taking time off too?
- When you return to work, would you like that to be part time or full time?
- Are your options flexible, such as agreeing to double the time off at half the pay?
- How much notice are you required to give before you start leave?
- Can you combine any accrued annual leave with your maternity leave?
Don’t be afraid of going through your employment contract with a fine-tooth comb and flagging any areas that you are unsure about with your employer. What may seem minor details now could make a big impact on your situation and career once the baby arrives.
Paid Parental Leave
You may get a little help from the Federal Government. Centrelink’s Department of Human Services currently offers financial support for up to 18 weeks in the form of Paid Parental Leave, which is $672.60 per week before tax (as at February 2017). The scheme includes two payments: Parental Leave Pay and Dad & Partner Pay.
Information overload? Hang in there, we’re nearly done. To receive Parental Leave Pay, there are eligibility and work tests, so check with Centrelink regarding your own circumstances. You may also find that you’re eligible for other support payments such as Family Tax Benefit and Child Care Rebates.
So how much parental leave do you need, and what can you afford? The Parental Leave Calculator can help you negotiate all the information and decide what might be best for you as a family. If you find that you’re still stretched, help is there if you need it. It may be an option to pause your home loan repayments or take out a small personal loan to cover this demanding time. What’s most important is for you to feel financially secure, so you can get on with the delightful role of new parent. You can either call the dedicated Hatch Sales Team on 1800 870 660 or click here to request a time for us to contact you that is convenient for you. We are here to help.
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